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For nearly two months each summer, “off-Broadway” might as well mean “The Berkshires,” thanks to the diversity of exciting new plays and star-studded casts gracing the annual Williamstown Theatre Festival. The 64th season is no different, with three world premiere plays, a world premiere musical, and more, all of which, artistic director Mandy Greenfield has said, will “engage with the moment we are living in” more than ever before.
Kicking off the season, comic genius Douglas Carter Beane will premiere his The Closet, inspired by the French comedy Le Placard, with a dream cast led by Matthew Broderick, Brooks Ashmanskas, Jessica Hecht and Ann Harada. Carson Kreitzer and Matt Gould’s new musical Lempicka–inspired by the life of artist Tamara de Lempicka–gets direction by the brilliant Rachel Chavkin (Broadway’s Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812) and a star in Tony-nominee Carmen Cusack (Broadway’s Bright Star).
A revival of Carson McCullers’ The Member of the Wedding has an intriguing young leading lady in polymath Tavi Gevinson, who’ll be directed by rising star Lila Neugebauer. And world premiere plays include Adam Rapp’s The Sound Inside, directed by recent Tony-winner David Cromer and starring Mary-Louise Parker; James Anthony Tyler’s poignant comedy Artney Jackson; Jen Silverman’s Dangerous House, about a teacher who leaves South Africa for London, only to be pulled back by an ex-lover; and Theresa Rebeck’s Seared, with the great Steven Pasquale. Theater fans eager to get out of town: buy tickets now for the shows that could very well get to the real off-Broadway and Broadway in the coming year. June 26-Aug. 19. ((wtfestival.org/))